This is one in a series of re-posts from past travels by Culinary Collective team members. Culinary Collective travels the world to find the very best gourmet traditional foods, supporting small producers who have strong ties to their lands and their communities. We hope you enjoy the journey as much as the ultimate destination – delicious food!
by Antonio Guadamuz
Greetings from Alimentaria 2014! One of our favorite things about traveling to Spain is visiting our vendors and seeing first hand how they are keeping their food traditions alive. This trip several of us on the Matiz team had the pleasure of visiting the Aneto production facilities in the beautiful Catalonian country side, where they make their traditional Spanish broths for cooking and paella.
At Aneto’s kitchen we had a typical Catalonian breakfast of pan con tomate (toasted bread rubbed with tomato and drizzled with olive oil) and jamón Ibérico. After this feast we began our tour where we saw hundreds of pounds of fresh produce get washed and chopped and thrown into giant kettles. As you can see nothing complicated goes into making their broths; they are made just like you would make them at home. Unlike most commercialized broth, Aneto does not use any concentrates or powders to flavor their broth. The end result was incredible broth and we were lucky to sample the tender vegetables and meat that had cooked in the kettle for over 3 hours! Simply delicious!
Along the tour I was constantly reminded of Aneto’s and Spain’s drive to keep culinary traditions alive. Aneto prides itself on making traditional broths that are used for making everything from paella to a simple Spanish bean stew. They only source from the freshest meat, fish and produce. Their use of modern packing equipment makes it possible for Aneto to easily provide eaters in Spain and the US with high quality homemade broth year around.
We ended the day partaking in what many Catalans enjoy in early days of spring – calçots! Calçots are members of the onion family that look like a cross between a leek and a spring onion. Typically in Catalunya calçots are grilled over charcoal until completely charred. Once charred they are wrapped in paper and allowed to steam in order to finish cooking. Large bundles of calçots are served table side and to eat them you just peel the charred outer layer and dip them into romesco sauce. Simple and addicting! This is a wonderful tradition that will continue for generations to come.
A special thanks to our wonderful vendors from Spain who showed us